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Kerala, also popularly known as God's Own Country, has faced the fury of nature like no other. Torrential rains have flooded the state, and more than 13 districts are now submerged under water. Property worth Rs. 19, 500 Crore has been damaged, as informed by CM Pinarayi Vijayan.
The floods in Kerala have been reported as the worst in the past 100 years. Citizens are stranded without electricity and food. "Many of them are now perched on terraces for hours as the waters have reached up to the first story; water level is still rising," says Abraham, a local legislator. There has been a red alert issued as the situation is turning from bad to worse.
Amidst all the chaos, PM Narendra Modi has offered help with Rs. 500 Crores to Kerala, along with an ex gratia of Rs. 2 Lakh to families of the deceased and an additional Rs. 50,000 to the seriously injured, from his National Relief Fund.
Hopefully, the grant will offer some relief to citizens that are stranded and waiting to be rescued. Reports suggest that more than 1.3 Lakh inhabitants were left homeless and Kerala has experienced an overall death toll of more than 300 people. Landslides and floods in Malappuram and Idukki have swept away more than 2,000 houses and the Kochi airport has been shut down till August 26. The gates of more than 35 dams across the state have been opened.
Many citizens took to the internet to plead for urgent help. A man from the central town of Chengannur, posted a video of himself, submerged in neck-deep water inside his own home. Another man's post went viral on Facebook, where he spoke of his family being stranded in Alappuzha without food, electricity and cell phones.
These are just one or two examples. Thousands and thousands of people are in despair. Let's take a moment to understand that natural calamity can strike anywhere, anytime. All we can do is support each other in the times of need. The citizens of Kerala need our urgent help and it is our duty to provide them with whatever relief we can. Even the smallest contribution would be of great help. After all, little drops make the mighty ocean.
If you'd like to help, you can contribute online to the Chief Minister's Disaster Relief Fund (Government of Kerala) here.
Aside from online donations, here are some other ways in which you can help:
You can donate essential items such as clothing, food items, sanitary napkins, cooking utensils, lentils, sleeping mats, toiletries, etc., by going here and here.
Amazon has set up a Kerala flood relief campaign where citizens can buy essential items for people in the state. You can contribute here.
Google has launched a tool called Person Finder, with which you can search for your family members, relatives, and friends that are stuck in Kerala floods. You can click here for help.
These are some of the helpline numbers released by the CM's office:
The citizens of Kerala need our urgent support. Let's take a pledge to help them and let them know that they are not alone. Together, let's save humanity!